Monetization via Paid Usage

AKA: Pay with Resources

Unconcious contributions made by a user to the OSS project, e.g., by integrating a crypto-miner, data storage, or other value-generating code that takes a portion of the resources and reuses it (e.g., a database that uses 10% processing power of the node it runs on). Should be clearly communicated to the users to clarify that this is not malicious code from a contributor. Might have legal implications if the value generation is problematic/illegal in a country. Often leads to recurring payments.


Variants & Options:




Characteristics Value Note
Effort to set-up Weeks Integration of a value-generating subsystem
Effort to maintain Low Probably only updating subsystem
Cost to set-up None  
Cost to maintain None  
One-time Income N/A Value-generating subsystem probably causes recurring revenue
Recurring Income Medium Depends on the value created and number of running instances
Income Predictability Medium If the clients have no alternative and value-generating subsystem is not problematic
Full income Threshold ?1000+ Depends heavily on efficiency / pricing of the value-generating subsystem
Recipient C  
Additional Work Low Extra work to initially integrate value-generating subsystem
Visibility Low Easy to overlook by users
Necessity to pay High Payment is enforced by running the OSS
Entry Threshold None Client only pays indirectly via his hoster/cloud for the resources
Countervalue OSS User pays for using the OSS
Scalability High Scales with the number of running instances
Effort for marketing None Will make waves but no “sale” is necessary
Competitors None  
Software types Special Best for stand-alone systems on one server (e.g., databases, blogs, LMS, etc.)